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J Nutr Health Aging. 2012;16(6):557-61.

Are atypical antipsychotics safer than typical antipsychotics for treating behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia?

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Geriatrics Department, Hartzfeld Hospital, Kaplan Medical Center, Gedera, Israel.


Atypical antipsychotics seem to be preferable than conventional agents in treating psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), because they have substantially lower risks of extrapyramidal neurological effects with lower reported rates of parkinsonism and tardive dyskinesia. However, in the course of time, with the increase in their use, more and more side effects have been reported. The benefits and risks of antipsychotic treatment should be carefully evaluated according to the co-morbidity and the severity of the psychological and behavioral symptoms and their impact on the individual elderly patient. It is recommended to keep those medications in the lower range of therapeutic doses. Due to the complexity of the individual patient, no guidelines have been yet established. Therefore, clinical judgment should be used in applying the dose and the type of those drugs.

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